Stimulus Update: Missed Your Stimulus Payments? Here's How to Claim the Money You Qualify for in 2022
Missing your stimulus or Child Tax Credit payments from 2021? You can easily claim the money you're owed from the IRS. Here's how.
- Some households are still missing stimulus or tax credit payments from the last year.
- It's too late to claim the Child Tax Credit payments as a lump sum in 2021, but it can be claimed on next year's taxes.
- If you are missing some or all of your third Economic Impact Payment, that money can also be claimed on your tax return next year.
From the stimulus payments to the monthly Child Tax Credit payments, low- to moderate-earners were given access to numerous financial boosts during the pandemic over the last year. Whether it was the $300 maximum monthly Child Tax Credit checks or the $1,400 stimulus checks, these payments all had a big impact on household finances for recipients.
But while the stimulus money and the tax credit checks made it possible for individuals and families to pay essential bills and make ends meet, the stimulus money from the federal government has officially come to an end. The last monthly Child Tax Credit check was issued to bank accounts and mailboxes on Dec. 15, and no more tax credit payments are scheduled to be sent out in the near future. Another stimulus check also appears unlikely -- though there's always a chance that things could change in the future.
For now, though, the extra stimulus money has come to an end for most households. That said, there is still money left to be claimed by the Americans who missed one or more stimulus payments. If you are missing one or more of your stimulus checks or your Child Tax Credit payments, here's how you can claim the money you qualify for in 2022.
How to claim your missing tax credit money
If you're missing any Child Tax Credit payments, it's too late to claim the money as a lump sum in 2021. The IRS allowed those who qualified to claim the money prior to the Dec. 15 Child Tax Credit checks being issued, but that is no longer an option.
At this point, claiming the Child Tax Credit money has a simple solution: You'll need to file your 2021 tax return and claim the missing money as a tax credit. Here's what the IRS has to say about it:
"Eligible families who did not receive any advance Child Tax Credit payments can claim the full amount of the Child Tax Credit on their 2021 federal tax return, filed in 2022. This includes families who don't normally need to file a return."
Families who received advance payments will need to file a 2021 tax return and compare the advance Child Tax Credit payments they received in 2021 with the amount of the Child Tax Credit they can properly claim on their 2021 tax return.
To help taxpayers reconcile the advance payments, the IRS will send Letter 6419 in January 2022 with the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments taxpayers received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children used to calculate the advance payments. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments with their tax records.
So, keep an eye out for a letter from the IRS that will help you to claim the money you're due. You'll want to use the information in this letter to determine how much you are owed come tax time.
For example, if the letter states that you were eligible but did not receive any tax credit money in 2021, you may be eligible to receive a credit for up to $3,600 per qualifying child when you file your taxes. If you received some but not all of the first half of the Child Tax Credit, the amount you can claim will be based on what you have already received from the IRS.
How to claim any missing stimulus money
The Child Tax Credit money may not be all that you're owed this tax season. You may also be missing the stimulus money that was issued in March 2021 -- and the IRS will issue it to you as part of your tax return.
But who exactly may be owed the stimulus money from the third Economic Impact Payment? Well, it depends.
In some cases, families that added a new child to their household during 2021 may not have received the $1,400 payment for their new addition. The same could be true for households that aren't typically required to file tax returns, as the IRS may not have had the information on file to issue the checks to these households.
Those who had significant declines in income year over year, or those who had other significant changes to their finances or household status, may also be eligible to claim missing stimulus money on next year's taxes. That's because the IRS issued stimulus checks based on the most recent tax information on file. And, any significant change in income may mean you are eligible to receive a stimulus payment or more stimulus money than initially received.
As with the Child Tax Credit payments, you'll claim the missing money as a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return. According to the IRS, you will need to include any information on the total amount of the third Economic Impact payment you received on your tax filings. You will also need to include information about any plus-up payments you received to avoid processing delays.
You may also want to file your tax return as soon as possible, as there have been long delays with processing tax returns over the last year. The IRS will allow you to file your tax returns as early as the end of January 2022, so be sure to file early if you can to avoid long waits.
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